Category Archives: FoodBlogging

In which I nerd out about Coffee Paraphernalia

Back in early 2010 I posted about my home espresso setup at the time. I recently (finally) replaced it, and I have thoughts. Obnoxious, obsessive, thoughts.

The TL;DR is that I bought a Breville Bambino espresso machine and a Turin SK40 grinder, the former is good, the latter is really good, but there is plenty of rambling and pictures and such below the fold.

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Plated Moussaka

I decided to make some Moussaka on a whim last night. As usual when I try to make something new, I browsed a couple recipes off the ‘net, then mostly ignored them and made it up as I went. I actually think of the pastry-topped moussaka I’ve had a couple times before the more traditional toppings, but phyllo is no fun, and Béchamel is, so I decided to split the difference on traditional recipes and made a Béchamel topping set with egg yolks like a custard. Torturing a recipe requires a starting point, so this moussaka is a pretty traditional Greek three-layer preparation, with simple process and cheap readily available ingredients.

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Schwein Schnitzel

Schwein Schnitzel with Green Beans and Potatoes
I think I picked up the affection for Schnitzel a couple summers ago when I was in Vienna, but I’ve wanted and made it a couple times lately, and this round came out reasonably photogenic. This is pretty classic Weiner Schnitzel style with pork, pounded out, dredged in flour with a bit of salt, pepper, and garlic powder, washed in beaten egg and milk, breaded in crumbs with paprika, and pan fried in oil with a pad of butter.

There is nothing about this that is healthy, it makes a terrible mess of the kitchen, and I still haven’t quite perfected the process (too dark or a little bit of sogginess on the underside of the breading or…), but the pounding and the breading makes for excellent texture, and it is terribly satisfying.

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Chili Verde

Vat foods usually aren’t terribly exciting to cook, but this one was interesting and photogenic. I’ve usually heard of this kind of chili associated with New Mexico, although I’m sure there are other regional variations. It is a favorite because it avoids my rather nasty intolerance to tomatoes (Fun fact: tomatillos and tomatoes are both nightshades, but they aren’t actually very closely related), but I’d never actually made it myself. I wanted some the other day, browsed a variety of uninspiring recipes online, became satisfied that I knew basically how things should work, and decided to head to the store and wing it from there.

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Chicken Bok Choy

Asian market bok choy: younger, fresher, cheaper, and in every way better than grocery store bok choy. Seen here with chicken, garlic, ginger, shoyu, and black pepper.

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Beer Reduction Sauce

While travelling I had a meal at a Gordon Biersch (chain brewery restaurant) with what they call “Märzen sauce,” which was pretty good, and I wanted to check my guess for how it was made. Nothing else particularly appealed while I was shopping for dinner ingredients tonight, so I decided to try to clone with the wheat ale I had in the fridge.

Pork in a thickened beer reduction with mushrooms, with asparagus and rice.

I was pretty sure it was made on the cook meat in oil with salt and pepper (and garlic powder?)-> remove meat -> add flour to to whatever is left in the pan -> cook until dark -> deglaze with beer -> add sliced mushrooms (and garlic?) -> cook down -> plate meat with pan sauce process, and decided to try it. I went with real garlic later in the process, which I suspect was wrong, and I would have to test again to see if I got the ordering right in one place (flour and mushrooms steps may be swapped), but it seems to be right otherwise, and, more importantly, came out tasty.

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Poached Eggs and Scones

Poached Eggs and Scones
Failed to work up requisite give-a-fuck this morning, had no pressing obligations until the early afternoon. Result: breakfast of poached eggs with fresh scones and a latte. In a related note, I need a better scone recipe.

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It’s been a while since I had a “I made this food. Look at it” foodblogging post, but this makes a good one. One batch of Bison Momo, based roughly on this recipe, and one batch of pork jiaozi, based roughly on this recipe.

Momo filling - Way more photogenic before the meat sludge phase

Both came out pretty well. The jiaozi taste pretty much exactly like the ones from a typical Americanized Chinese restaurant, and the momo are significantly more complex…although they would definitely benefit from some sort of sauce, like they are traditionally served.

The momo are the darker box-folded ones, the jiaozi are the lighter colored crimped half-moons.

I have a fair amount of left over filling from each, due largely to lack of patience and finesse for suitably pressing out the springy dough (In retrospect: breaking out the rolling pin would have helped), which will probably be wrapped in napa cabbage leaves and steamed later, or used for another batch of dumplings. With a bottle of Gewürztraminer and some friends, an evening well spent.

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Feeling Southern

After consuming a derby pie over course of the past week, I was in the mood for traditional southern food, so I bought parts for southern style kale (which falls way past the “Vegtables cooked in pork count as pork” line) and biscuits. I got around to cooking it for dinner earlier, and it was terribly satisfying in its own salty, strangely textured way. Not a style of food I cook, or even eat often, and, unusually for traditional southern food, not terribly likely to kill you in short order.

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Superauto Espresso

There is a new superauto espresso machine (specifically, a VKI Eccellenza Express) on the second floor of the Marksbury building. Life is suddenly excellent, although my continued health may be in danger.
My only compliant from my first use is that the macchiato button appears to make a latte macchiato (and a starbucks-like sweetened monstrosity of one at that), rather than a real macchiato. The manual doesn’t appear to be online (yet?), but I expect the next several weeks will be punctuated with attempts to coax something resembling a brauner out of it.

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